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When you’re running a business, you want everything to go as smoothly as possible. This might go double for charities. Not only do you want to work at your best, you want to earn as much money as you can for your cause. So it’s imperative you have every leg-up you can get. In today’s world, that’s tech – it can improve everything from sales to monitoring the performance of your stores.

One piece of tech you can’t underestimate in your charity is your EPoS system. Like many other services, combining it with the cloud can provide so many benefits. Since technology evolves so fast, it can seem like a constant race to keep up. But by embracing the cloud, you can stay ahead of the curve.

Let’s take a look at three ways a cloud-based EPoS system could improve your charity operations.

Streamline your operation

An amazing aspect of a cloud-based EPoS system is that it’s much simpler to set up and get going.

From here, it’s easy to oversee the performance of all your shops. For example, a cloud-based system could sync all the tills with the server, giving you near real-time sales data. The tills continue to run offline even if the connection drops. So staff can keep making sales until they can connect to the cloud again.

For head-office staff, they can monitor activity no matter where they are. Whether in the office or on the go, the benefit of a cloud-based system is that you can make important decisions for your charity no matter what, driving continual improvement.

Maximise your revenue

That portability is great for volunteers too. Being cloud-based, it can be accessed from any internet-connected device. So if they’re out on the street or at an event, they can still connect to your system, bring in donations, and show you how it’s going.

This works wonders for Gift Aid. This is such a vital source of income for every charity, so you don’t want to miss out on any opportunities.

A cloud-based EPoS system will also save you money in the long-run. Since it’s online and remote, you have no expensive costs associated with on-premises hardware. No costly installation or long-term physical security.

Greater security for your data

Unfortunately, no one is safe from a cyber attack. For example, just last year, over 100 charities were targeted in a single ransomware attack. Now, a cloud-based system will not prevent cyber attacks in and of itself, but combined with a cloud-backup service, you can keep yourself that much safer.

So whether you’re a victim of an attack or if your data is corrupted at any point, a cloud backup will be able to get you back up and running. On-premises software might be at risk because it’s attached to the same network. But off-premises it’s separate and much easier to keep safe. It’s a nice extra layer of peace of mind.

Cloud-based EPoS systems are how you can keep up with the changing world. Technology is only going to keep evolving faster and faster. With a solution like this, you can get started quickly and work on making a difference to your beneficiaries. We know these qualities are important to charities, which is why we designed CHARiot Web with all of these amazing benefits in mind.

We’re excited to announce this service will launch at the Charity Retail Association Conference on the 9th of September. For our existing customers, CHARiot Web will have the same PoS design as CHARiot 7, so anyone familiar with that will be right at home. We’re sure you’ll love what we have in store!

Curious to see how CHARiot Web can help your charity? Come by our stand at the CRA conference on the 9th and 10th of September with your questions. Or feel free to reach out to us on 01204 706 000 for more information.

When we think of charities and fundraising, we think of traditional methods, like encouraging donations with street volunteers and partaking in events such as bake sales and marathons. But times are changing. Young donors are twice as likely to give to charity via their smartphones than previous generations. 

With the UK still in lockdown and technology developing more each day, there’s been no better time for the charity sector to use tech for fundraising efforts. Here are three ways charities are using technology to boost their fundraising in 2021…

Mobile donations

Only 34% of payments are now made in cash. That’s a dramatic change from 2006, when cash made up 62% of all payments. The convenience of card payments and payment services like Apple Pay is changing the way we spend money. 

As such, Apple Pay donations have been very effective for some of the UK’s biggest charities, a feature that makes it easy for iPhone owners to make a simple one-off donation. Blue Cross found a creative way to use contactless payments with “pat and tap”. They sent out “in the field” dogs who wore coats that had card readers on them, encouraging contactless donations.

Apps like “Share the Meal”, which was released in 2015, are also great for offering donors a simple and quick way to support their favourite charities. The app, launched by the UN’s World Food Programme, was set up so one quick tap could donate 50p, enough to feed a child for a day. The app is still available and the total number of donated meals sits at around 13 million.

New tech 

Almost 29% of Brits own a smart speaker. That’s increased four-fold since 2017. Some of the biggest names in the charity world have already got involved with this technology, such as the NSPCC. Still in early testing, people can respond to ads on their smart speakers to make donations straight away. This is a simple, effective way to use tech for fundraising as popularity in smart speakers continues to rise.

You don’t have to look too far for new tech, either. Just take your point-of-sale system, for example. Some EPoS systems are designed specifically for the charity sector. These solutions include Gift Aid software that automates the entire donation process, boosting profits while reducing admin. The system helps staff, volunteers, and donors alike as the software helps with managing stock and simplifying the transaction process.

Online

The popularity of online events has been growing steadily for some time, but it significantly surged during the pandemic. The charity sector saw this as the perfect time to get involved. Charities like Mind, the NSPCC, and NHS Charities Together partnered up with Glastonbury to create Glasthomebury, a streamed version of the festival that encouraged those at home to donate to the charities that help those most affected by lockdown. 

With the constant development of technology, fueled by the younger generation’s appetite for better tech, now is the perfect time for charities to embrace tech for fundraising. Technology could be a great way of tapping into younger markets, improving customer experience, and boosting revenue.

There’s no better way to bring your charity into the technological age than with Charity Retail Systems’ bespoke, HMRC-recognised EPoS solution. To take your charity to the next level, get in touch on 01204 706 000.

As you might have heard, PoSReady 7 OS, the operating system used in most tills, is approaching its end of life (EoL). This basically means that in October 2021, the vendor will stop delivering support services for the product. 

So what does this mean for your charity? Simply put, this could cause some serious disruption to your day-to-day operations, and it’s why many charities are now considering an operating system upgrade. But let’s look at it in more detail…

PCI compliance

Compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is essential for your charity. This compliance is mandated by the contracts you sign with the card brands and banks that handle your charity’s payment processing

As the PCI DSS says: “Protect all system components and software from known vulnerabilities by installing applicable vendor-supplied security patches. Install critical security patches within one month of release.”

Old operating systems, such as the PoSReady 7, may no longer be supported by vendors. Operating systems that aren’t supported won’t have access to software patches. This means you won’t be able to continue using the software while remaining PCI compliant. Failure to be PCI compliant can result in fines, which can be as high as £60,000.

Security

Even the systems with the best cyber security solutions can be subject to sophisticated cyber attacks. A data breach occurring on an EoL operating system could result in disciplinary action or fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office. GDPR states data must be handled securely by means of “appropriate technical and organisational measures”, which means an obsolete system may be considered neglectful or careless.

No more updates means the system won’t be at its safest. Even if any vulnerabilities are found, there will be no patches to offer further security. As well as this, older systems are less likely to be supported by other programs, which may include your antivirus software. And antivirus solutions might not be the only third-party solution that your charity relies on.

Lack of support from third-party vendors 

Integrated payment providers connect the payment processing function of your business with other vital systems like CRM, accounting, and payroll. But by making the decision to continue to use an EoL operating system, you could lose your integrated payment providers as they’re unlikely to want to continue to support their solution on an EoL system. But they are key to your operations, so losing your provider could be a huge blow to your charity. 

You also need to be careful with remote support software. This allows a technician to connect to a device from anywhere in the world to help with any issues, support, or installing important updates for the system. Remote control products can create security concerns if not configured or used in a secure manner, so you want to be sure they will be supported.

PoSReady 7 OS is on its way out. While you could continue to use it, it may cause you more problems down the line. Now might be the time to seek a new PoS operating system for your charity to keep operations at their best.

With over 30 years of experience at the forefront of the UK charity tech scene, Charity Retail Systems has developed an innovative, HMRC-recognised EPoS system to take your charity to the next level. If you’d like to find out more, call us today on 01204 706000.